Ronald Reagan helped prove that when capitalism and socialism compete, capitalism wins, hence the use of past tense when referring to the U.S.S.R.
But there are many who either refuse to acknowledge facts or recklessly disregard them. They believe government, rather than deriving its power from the people, should hold power over the people. And how do you control people? Why, by holding their purse strings of course.
Every time, every single time, I receive my paycheck I think how much good I could put the money to that I earned but isn’t there.
Before it ever enters my hand the state and federal government sticks its fingers into it, depriving me of a significant portion of the fruits of my labor.
Granted, for the greater good I’ve no problem with contributing some. But the one tax that really angers me is Social Security.
According to the Social Security Administration, more than 47 million Americans will receive approximately $492 billion in Social Security benefits this year. The most recent available data notes Catoosa County residents who collect benefits received a total payout of $306,000 in 2003.
That sounds nice for those collecting benefits, but what about the people who are paying the tax? Social Security is socialistic — part of that $492 billion comes out of my paycheck and into the pockets of somebody else.
The government, in effect, says: “We believe you, the citizens, are incompetent and cannot plan for your own retirement, so we’re going to play nursemaid and do it for you.”
They are not only taking my money, but my freedom as well — my freedom to choose when I can retire, my freedom to use my resources as I see fit, and my freedom to leave to my family what I’ve worked for all my life. Under Social Security, money I could more wisely invest is kept from me until I turn 67. And if I die prematurely, it’s just gone, with no benefit to my family whatsoever.
There are many, President Bush among them, who support allowing people to take a portion of their “contribution” to Social Security and put it in their own retirement account. I don’t really like this plan, and I disagree with the president.
It’s a start, I suppose, but I’m holding out for the plan that allows me to completely free myself from the burden of Social Security. I want all of my “contribution” out of the system.
Let me hasten to add that I know this won’t happen in my lifetime. Nor should it for those currently receiving benefits or those who are about within 25 years of retirement. It would be wrong to touch their benefits, and I am not referring to those disabled and receiving benefits, either.
But Social Security as a retirement plan is the problem.
There are simply too many people who have grown accustomed to the thought of big government controlling their lives.
Children inadequately disciplined are spoiled and like those bratty kids Americans are in danger as we grow older of being unable to deal with the challenges life throws our way.
The real danger in our case results from an inherent flaw in the system. The flaw is government controlled decisions mistakenly surrendered by the people, the right, and responsibility, to take care of yourself and your family.
Beyond the intrinsic ills of the system, however, are very real concerns that Social Security will go bankrupt. Of the aforementioned 47 million people receiving benefits, that number will dramatically increase as the baby boomers retire.
Originally designed only to back up a retiree's personal savings and employer pension programs, Social Security has increasingly become the only retirement plan for many Americans. In its current structure, the large number of baby boomers will place a burden upon the system it will be unable to bear.
According to Public Agenda’s website, Social Security’s expenditures will exceed the amount it brings in by 2017.
In 2042 the system will have completely exhausted itself.
Unless something changes, that means I’ll get four years of benefits when I retire after having paid into the system for 51 years. I suppose that’s why so many younger people are keen on the idea of privatizing part of Social Security; they know it won’t be there for them when they retire.
Can you blame them?
Social Security is certainly social, but the security part is a myth.Jeff O’Bryant is an amateur historian and holds two degrees, a bachelor’s in education and a bachelor’s with honors in history. He is a columnist and staff writer for The Catoosa County News and can be contacted at email@example.com.